Second stimulus check: McConnell says GOP relief bill includes second round of ‘direct payments’

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed on Tuesday the proposed GOP emergency relief bill will include a “targeted, second round” of Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses with a “special eye toward hard-hit businesses,” $105 billion for education, and direct stimulus checks to qualifying Americans.

“We want another round of direct payments… to help American families keep driving our national comeback,” McConnell said.

McConnell did not provide any details about who will qualify for the second round of direct payments. Previous reports suggested payments will go to people below a certain income level, likely $75,000, and create a sweeping five-year liability shield against coronavirus lawsuits.

McConnell did not mention the payroll tax cut during his speech on Tuesday. On Monday, Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated the payroll tax cut was included in the bill.

“We’re all going to be discussing it, as you know [Mnuchin] is coming up for lunch and we are all going to see if we can get on the same page,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.

McConnell also said the next recovery package will include strong legal protections for healthcare workers.

White House officials have indicated they hope to keep the relief bill at $1 trillion, but several Democrats have said they are hoping for a $3 trillion plan.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting chief of staff Mark Meadows will meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday.

Mnuchin vowed passage by month’s end, as a $600 boost in jobless aid is set to expire, and said he expected a fresh $1 trillion jolt of business tax breaks and other aid would have a “big impact” on the struggling economy.

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